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Ernst Van Leyden Papers

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Van Leyden, Ernst, 1892-1969.
Title: Ernst Van Leyden Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1938-1964
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Correspondence, clippings, and writings by European painter and sculptor, Ernst Van Leyden
Language: Most of the materials are in English but the collection includes some material in French and German.
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Ernst Van Leyden (1892-1969) was a European painter and sculptor known for his murals and frescoes, particularly his use of light, and for his work in mixed-media sculpture.

Born in Holland, he studied there and in London and Berlin, and worked in various countries around Europe including Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, England, Egypt and the Middle East. He emigrated to the United States in the early years of World War II and spent ten years in California. In 1948 he created his first abstract work (prior to this his work had been more expressionist). His circle of friends included Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Willem de Kooning. He died in Paris in 1969.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ernst Van Leyden Papers includes artwork, correspondence, printed material, and writings.

Artwork contains one item: a double-sided page with sketches by Salvador Dali.

Correspondence contains a majority of incoming mail with some outgoing.

Printed material contains clippings about Van Leyden and his wife, Karin.

Writings contains material by or about Van Leyden, including lectures.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Artwork is a single item. Correspondence is arranged chronologically, with undated material at the end. Printed material is in no particular order. Writings by Leyden are arranged chronologically with undated material at the end. Writings by others are arranged alphabetically with unidentified material at the end.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Dalí, Salvador, 1904-1989.
Van Leyden, Ernst, 1892-1969.
Van Leyden, Karin, 1906-1977.


Muralists -- United States.
Painters -- United States.
Sculptors -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ernst Van Leyden Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ernst Van Leyden, 1964.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 18 Nov 2010
Revision history: 30 Jan 2019 - processed (KD)

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Box 1 Original sketches by Salvador Dali undated
Box 1 Dingle, Edwin J. 1953
Box 1 Goeritz, Mathias 1954
Box 1 John, Augustus 1950
Box 1 Kahlo, Frida undated
Box 1 Kunkel, Fritz 1942-1943
Box 1 Mahler, Alma 1945
Box 1 Mann, Thomas 1943-1950, undated - includes letters from Klaus and Erika Mann
Box 1 Mendelsohn, Eric 1942-1947
Box 1 Morris, Ira 1944
Box 1 Pickford, Mary 1943
Box 1 Rebay, Hilla 1949-1953, undated
Box 1 Schaeffer, Pierre 1945
Box 1 Slijper, S. B. 1950
Box 1 Stern, James 1944
Box 1 Syracuse University 1964 - donor's inventory of the collection's contents
Box 1 Wright, Frank Lloyd 1943-1953
Box 1 A-Z miscellaneous 1942-1947, undated
Box 1 Unidentified 1950, undated
Printed material
Box 1 Clippings undated
Box 1 by Ernst Van Leyden 1940-1951, undated - lectures and articles
Box 1 by others 1938-1953, undated

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